by Jez Bond

I remember many months ago writing a blog entitled The Kindness of Strangers. For those not familiar with A Streetcar Named Desire, I should tell you that therein lies the reference. Today's blog, however, takes a different stance - as it seems that many of the strangers of yester-month are the friends of today...

Since occupying the building some two years ago our presence in the community has been increasing - both quickly and confidently. It has been a pleasure to begin relationships with so many people, relationships that have started out from a tiny seed and are starting to grow into fully blossoming plants. That's surely what Park Theatre's about - nurturing both audiences and practitioners, providing a welcoming environment in which to grow. I remember the first contact from a local resident who works at the Royal Opera House and passes by on the bus on a daily basis, and from another who runs a promotions company and came round on an industry tour, and from the couple who popped their heads round as we were once locking up to ask for more information. All these people are now supporters - in fact one is on our board. I'm proud to have developed those relationships and, as we approach opening and enter the first few years of operation, we must be sure to only accelerate all efforts in this field.

So, whilst we continue to find new supporters from all areas, and strive towards our funding goals, today was a day to remember those who have quickly become friends and who have given us their time and energy. As Melli and her new assistant Amy organised for a group of helpers to stuff envelopes and take to the streets with brochures, I was embroiled in a number of meetings on site led by the intrepid architect Dave Hughes: he who was an utter stranger two years ago and now probably knows me as well as my family - well he should do, he certainly spends more time with me than they do. Then there are all our fantastic ambassadors - one of them went round hand delivering brochures to the shops in Crouch End last week and one called me today to say they'd met some local people on holiday and were telling them all about the theatre!

So here's to wonderful new friends from the last couple of years - and to growing relationships over the next.

With all my love and huge appreciation, Jez x

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